August 27, 2012

A Canuck in Kantuck: The work of three budding writers

By Tara Kaprowy

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — This week I’m handing my writing space over to three beautiful children who have written their own column every week this summer. Emma, Elle and Jacob Gilleland, the children of dear friends of ours who live in Rock Hill, S.C., have come up with creative gems that I’m sure will charm you as much as they did me. Enjoy!

Summer in Minnesota: Soups and Mistakes

By Emma Gilleland

Every year while I’m in Minnesota, my cousin Meg and I make soup. We’ve made so many I’ve lost count of them all. Out of the hundreds we’ve made only one of them tasted good. It was made from Sprite, this limeade sherbet stuff and raspberries.

This year we made two and both of them were awful (one we tried to make it be as bad as we could). We had olive juice, ranch dressing, cinnamon, ginger, cayenne pepper, garlic, mint flavoring, vanilla extract, hot sauce, and much, much more. I would be disgusted with anyone who could swallow it, partly because it was so hot and partly because it looked so gross. It had a red color like hot sauce and little things floating in it. Gah! It makes my stomach hurt just by thinking about it. It was the worst soup that we ever made, but hey, it was supposed to be like that.

Have you ever tried to do something good but it turned out awful? That’s exactly what happened to me and Meg’s second soup. This time we were both doing different soups to see which one was better. There was no need. They were both awful. It got really nasty when Meg put hot sauce in hers. Mine was too sweet. It had Sierra Mist, Jell-O, honey and whipped cream. It was not as bad as the red one. And I wouldn’t be disgusted with anyone who could eat it. But it was still awful. I put way too much honey in it.

Everyone makes mistakes as a kid. But that’s OK, it’s the time to make them (so you don’t it as an adult). You only learn by doing. The first time you do something, you make mistakes. Like when you first learned to ride a bike you fall down a lot. When you fell down you probably got scraped and that made you tougher. I really believe Meg and I got a better immune system from eating those soups. Mistakes are helpful. They make you tougher and they help you not make them when it really matters. If you never make mistakes as a kid you won’t know how to act when you do. You’ll make one when it matters and then get fired. So as a kid, make mistakes, have fun, and prepare for the future. I’m doing it. Look out, world, here I come, soups and all. Just hope I don’t become a chef!

Remodeling: How crazy it is

By Jacob Gilleland

When you’re remodeling, everything seems chaotic. There will be 20 guys with hammers tearing up your house and banging on what seems like anything that will make a loud noise. It’s so crazy you just want and need a break from it. My family is currently remodeling, so I know this from firsthand experience.

The workers will come at around 7 in the morning. You’ll be woken up at 7:05 to the BANG, BANG, BANG of workers tearing out some part of your house. If you’ve ever remodeled your house before, you’ll know what you feel like during the remodeling. If you haven’t remodeled before I’ll tell you: You’ll feel tired, agitated and upset. My family is having the roof done and a new window cut out and our kitchen is being torn apart AND we’re adding a new room AND in a week or two we are going to put hardwood floors in most of our house. So as I’m sure you can imagine, it is absolutely CRAZY at my house, and it will be most of the summer.

If it’s your neighbor remodeling, expect almost as much noise as the neighbor having remodeling done, especially if their roof is being done too. Some of my family’s neighbors that live down the street have said they could hear the workers at our house, inside their house, about as clear as we could hear the workers at our house.

When you remodel a lot of guys with different jobs come to your house; sometimes there will be plumbers, carpenters and brick masons. Sometimes there will be a demolition crew, roofers and glass guys (I don’t know the name of guys who put in the glass). Now that you know how much noise and craziness comes with remodeling, are YOU ready to remodel??


by Elle Gilleland


Who is Alvin? Alvin is a squirrel, a baby squirrel. He fell out of a tree with three other squirrels. One is with its mom (we don’t know if it survived) and the other two, Simon and Eleanor, didn’t make it. We nursed Alvin the best we could, but to no avail. He died this morning.

I don’t know why he died, but I do have some theories. Maybe he was hurt worse in the fall than we realized. Perhaps he just needed a mother squirrel, like people need human mothers.

In the week we had Alvin we grew to love him very much. He was really cute and innocent. We loved how he was attracted to warmth like a human is. It makes me think, maybe he didn’t need a mother squirrel, but instead, just a squirrel companion like how people need to be around other people. It was really fun to feed him because he would open up his tiny mouth and roll his tongue around to swallow.

We would sleep with Alvin in a box next to our beds and cuddle with him frequently. He spent most of his time asleep, as he was only a newborn. When he got hungry we would warm up milk like you would for a human baby and feed it to him with a syringe. I said how he loves heat, well, if he got too cold we would hook up a heater and put him in front of it. He would crawl way too close so we’d pull him back, but he’d just crawl up again! It became something of a game.

It kind of makes me feel philosophical. Like in the “Calvin and Hobbes” comic where they find the baby raccoon that dies over night. What Calvin says kind of sums up what I thought. Calvin wondered why God would take him away when he was so young and he also figured that you should live every day, every moment to its fullest, because you never know, it could be your last. Since you’re alive (and incredibly lucky to be) you should do something with your life. I don’t know why, but I’m sure God had a reason to take Alvin, Simon and Eleanor away. I figure that you should live life to its fullest and make it great. I also figure that you shouldn’t let tragedy ruin your life. Get over it and keep going.

Emma, Elle and Jacob Gilleland can be reached at